The tables have turned from a decade ago. Unemployment is down and the burden of employment has turned from the applicant to the hiring manager. The process can be overwhelming while attempting to balance the need to fill the vacancy and finding the perfect fit. For assistance with recruitment contact Source One for a personalized plan and increase attention to detail from our staff.

On top of the societal good it brings, the employee shortage has had many employers reconsider barring formally incarcerated individuals, given they have been rehabilitated. Yet, it would seem that too many employers are still fixated upon an applicant attaining a bachelor’s degree. Why? Many degree programs, though formative, have a great degree of rigidity and little exposure to real world problems. In contrast, an applicant may not have a four year degree, but instead have ten years of experience within the applicable industry and require significantly less training.

While Bachelor’s degrees may offer an accredited foundation of knowledge, new graduates are often very green and in need of extensive training. There are a lot of qualities that foreshadow a predisposition to success more so than a completed undergraduate campaign. Here are 5 attributes more important to determining a good fit from a resume than a Bachelor’s degree.

Rapid Advancement
A good resume paints a narrative. As an employer you should pay attention to this narrative through its rises and falls. While observing the rises, take note of the speed at which an applicant is promoted, or otherwise having greater impact on an organization. This shows that, despite lacking higher education, this individual displayed natural traits and leadership that gained them trust from their superiors. Rigor in the applicant’s career can display good time management skills and how they may handle adversity. Consider the challenges of a single mother of two who worked her way up without finishing a college degree. Whatever adversity may have been faced, it shows a larger commitment to success in spite of hardships than an applicant with little experience or obstacles to hurdle, but a framed degree in their apartment.

Relevant Experience
A given, but even if experience is not in the same industry, similar work in a practical environment can make for an easy pivot to your company’s needs much more than a formal, sometimes standardized, college education. This experience could come from a variety of activities and should not be limited to just paid experience. For example, serving as a chair person for a charitable initiative shows strong leadership skills and big picture idea generation. Experienced workers with the exact tool set needed for the position are becoming increasingly difficult to come by, because most would argue their experience is much more telling of an applicant’s likelihood of success.

Tangible Accomplishments
Look for terms like “increased sales by X” or “reduced spending to save X”. Tangible achievements in the workplace show drive to further a company’s success. Do not look past an industry award on a resume. Even for more minute commendations, they provide evidence of other employers or industry leaders recognizing the individual’s dedication to excellence and effectiveness in a given occupation.

Strong References
What do past managers, co-workers, etc. have to say about their personality drive and technical competence? A reference is the best way to tell how an applicant will be able to integrate themselves into your workplace culture. Additionally, is there anyone who does not say “My biggest weakness is that I’m a perfectionist” in an interview? Speaking to previous employers, partners, or co-workers will allow you to get a sense of their actual work ethic. Are they a reliable work horse? Are they the type of employee to think outside of the box and innovate from within? Are they the type to call in sick repeatedly and mysteriously post extravagant vacation photos their next day in the office?

In the case of letters of recommendation, look to see if the candidate has made an impact on the company or office space that the employer looks at with enough respect to denote it in writing. Interviews with references may be more effective in understanding an applicant’s personality, but letters of recommendation can show respect for authority and impactful impressions upon management or superiors.

Passion outside the workplace
Do not limit your credentials just to attributes exclusively visible in the office. For example, an applicant should display interest and involvement in community service, and religious, professional, or athletic organizations. A well rounded employee can bring a diverse viewpoint to company decisions and manufacture an atmosphere or casual conversation amongt employees, bolstering their cohesion.

Philanthropic involvements in particular show a dedication to ethical behavior, management skills or willingness to be managed, and respect for the people around them.
Professional organizations show commitment to the industry at hand. An applicant who is active within their professional organization is more likely to be up to date on emerging technologies and rising trends. They are also more likely to have a larger professional network.

The changes in the employment can make filling an opening difficult to navigate. Take some time to really evaluate how much value a Bachelor’s degree holds when compared to an applicant with incredible credentials otherwise. Consider the difference in immediate effects, and training time needed. Hire away.

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